News | Local

Multnomah Commissioners Call For Cogen Investigation

OPB | July 23, 2013 7:02 p.m. | Portland

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Multnomah County commissioners called Tuesday for an outside investigation of county chair Jeff Cogen. They want to see if his affair with a county official violated personnel rules or led to the misuse of county funds.

The county also released more documents.

County  personnel rules forbid intimate relationships between supervisors and direct underlings.

Documents released earlier suggest that health policy director Sonia Manhas was going to Cogen directly on at least one matter, and bypassing her supervisor.

Now, documents show that Cogen let Manhas guide his interactions with other county commissioners.

After getting questions from county commissioner Diane McKeel’s staff, Manhas wrote to Cogen “I may ask for your help to assure her (McKeel) these are reasonable steps.” Cogen responded “just tell me what you want me to do.”

That was July 1st, more than a month after Cogen said the affair had ended.

Emails show Manhas discussed policy directly and frequently with chair Cogen. But she went through staff to reach other elected commissioners.

In an interview on KGW-TV, Cogen says he is not planning to resign.

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